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Slobodan Milosevic Dies

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    Minh
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    Steve411

    Old news. Smiley

    - Steve

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    Cairo

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    footballism

    Steve411 wrote:
    Old news.

    - Steve

    Oh, Steve, you should say something more than this:O

    Sheva

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    ScanIAm

    Minh wrote:

    Good Riddance.  It's unfortunate that he couldn't have lived much longer to extend the suffering.

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    Tom Servo

    Look how much I'm not caring.

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    Harlequin

    I see pics of people mourning for him. Is that area of the world still tribe/clan based? Or something of the sorts?

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    W3bbo

    Harlequin wrote:
    I see pics of people mourning for him. Is that area of the world still tribe/clan based? Or something of the sorts?


    I've got friends in Croatia (not far off) and it's pretty "westernised" over there, it's more like Poland.

    ...not that they don't have problems of their own.

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    Karim

    Harlequin wrote:
    I see pics of people mourning for him. Is that area of the world still tribe/clan based? Or something of the sorts?


    The whole world's still tribe/clan-based.  If you doubt that, just ask an MBA about their alma mater.

    Tribalism is a little harder to spot here.  It's just that a Nike swoosh is a little more subtle than having a tribal mark carved into your face. 

    Note your phrase, "that area of the world."  As opposed to "us" in "our area of the world," the area that supposedly isn't tribe/clan based.  Advanced Us vs. Backwards Them....

    As for Milosevic's mourners, there's always a group of people who mourn whenever any despot dies or is removed from power....

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    billh

    Karim wrote:
    As for Milosevic's mourners, there's always a group of people who mourn whenever any despot dies or is removed from power....
    Now, does Serbia have a "Statue Park" like they do in Budapest?  I watched a television show this weekend, and one of things they mentioned was a park devoted to statues of fallen leaders (in Budapest's case they were from the Soviet era).

    It was a park full of nothing but torn-down statues.  I didn't know what to think. It was surreal.  They apparently also have a museum (can't remember the name of it) dedicated to the past activities of the Secret Service. They had a wall full of pictures of people who were persecuted, another section devoted to torture equipment and then an entire wall devoted to the persecutors.  Some of the people on that last wall were still "at large" (i.e. running from the law).

    What a weird tour that was.

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    BryanF

    Harlequin wrote:
    I see pics of people mourning for him. Is that area of the world still tribe/clan based? Or something of the sorts?

    My understanding is that the lawyers who were working the tribunal are quite upsite. Now that this miserable wretch is dead, so too is their chance of being a part of history. ...Poor lawyers.

    Tongue Out

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    brian.​shapiro

    Even though our media portrayed Milosevic as a dictator, he clearly had at some time popular support and was elected and working with a democratic system. There is evidence he was corrupt, which his political opponents were adamant about, and that he was silencing political opponents, but that is the worst case. The tell-tale sign that he was working within a democratic system, is that he was forced to step down when the Serbian courts ruled he lost the election. Sure, you can say he had to do that to maintain the image it was a democracy, but thats what happens in democracies. In order to be seen as legitimately democratic, you play by the rules. He also had others on his side who would have gained popular support and maintained his position if Milosevic were ever assasinated. Would Milosevic like to be a dictator? Probably, yes--he worked under the Soviets--but he couldn't be one.

    Milosevic was a former Soviet apparatchik, and he involved his country in bloody wars, so I have no interest in defending him. However, I have a big problem with how simplistically this has been portrayed, and how he was made out to be "another Hitler" a "dictator" (as I said even if he was corrupt its dishonest) a purveyor of "genocide" (the media frequently referred to expulsion of Kosovars "genocide") and the sole cause of any violence or hatred in the region, where the Kosovar (KLA) leaders, the Croatian and Bosnian leaders, are never mentioned in such absolute terms.

    Most people who rail about Milosevic I bet could not even cite any facts that back up claims that he was a genocidal maniac or dictator, but take it for granted. But, however, most Americans I think understood that there was more complexity in this issue and polls during the Kosovo war, showed the American public didn't support the war, because it appeared the KLA was as much responsible for violence as the Serbs were. The public understood that the KLA used terrorist tactics, killed innocent Serbs--just like the Serbian government was accused of killing innocent Kosovars--and that, in the end the United States killed more Kosovars in war efforts than the Serbs had. This raises a lot of issues.

    Serbia's claim was always that they had no interest in anything like ethnic cleansing, that they were particularly targetting the terrorist KLA organization, the members which were regular Kosovo citizens, which is why Serbia entered residences. The KLA in turn was responsible for a lot of violence against Serbs in the region.

    Something a lot of people don't know is that the peace treaty Serbia ended up signing to end the Kosovo war, was what Milosevic proposed before the war. The proposal was to give Kosovo political autonomy while still being part of Serbia. Before the war, Madeline Albright rejected this proposal, and instead issued an ultimatum that would have required a NATO military occupation of Belgrade. I'm not making this up, this was in major papers, though not front page stories; so can be verified. My sense at the time from following news events was that Clinton and Madeline Albright never expected to have to go through an actual war, they expected the Serbs to cave in and get rid of Milosevic. But when that didn't happen, and the Serbs refused the ultimatum, they had to save face, and abide by their threats by taking action.

    I don't know whether there is good evidence that the Serbian government under Milosevic planned and ordered ethnic cleansing and activities like soldiers raping rather than just aiming to combat the KLA, but I don't think most people who rail against Milosevic could cite anything themselves. Personally, I remain skeptical because when watching the Kosovo war on television, I saw many things misrepresented and skewed to dishonestly frame the Serbs and Milosevic in a bad light. I did not pay attention to the conflict in the Balkans until the Kosovo war, so I have nothing to say about what happened in Serbia's previous conflcits.

    One example of what I'm referring to, about the media skewing what was happening, was when in the middle of the war Serbia sent out masses of Kosovars as refugees. This was obviously a tactic to try to embarass NATO, since there had been no similarly mass expulsion prior to that, even though it was completely stupid because they had to have known it would have hurt their reputation more than anything. But the dishonesty was that all media outlets were reporting earnestly that Serbian military were killing all men, and only sending out women and children as refugees. While, in fact, if you looked at the videos of the refugees half of them were men. Also, the media would always rush to report something as a mass grave, which was ambiguous. A reporter would find a small mound on the ground and call it a mass grave on camera without any evidence. After the war, there were aerial shots taken of graves laid out next to each other, where people were buried individually, each one marked. These were called mass graves, even though thats not typically what a mass grave is, and the argument was the Serbs tried to make them look like regular gravesites to mask what they were doing.

    At any rate, if anyone here knows of any real evidence against Milosevic and the Serbian government, of planning ethnic cleansing, I'm completely open; I've just explained why I'm skeptical. Also if anyone here knows more about Serbia's conflicts before Kosovo, which I don't know much about, and has something important to add from that, please say so. I've explained why I think the portrayal of the Serbs in such absolute terms is dishonest though.

    I had an Armenian friend though, who did pay attention to the previous Balkan conflicts, and he explained to me he thought the Serbs were being unfairly picked on, his view, because they were Christian while other groups in the region were Muslim. I don't know if its true, but I think that was valid to say at the time. Today, we live in a different world and its hard to say what the response woudl be. The KLA were Muslims and terrorists, who traded drugs and arms; and it would not be surprising if they had ties to terrorists we're fighting today.

    Different groups in Eastern Europe, including Armenians, Greeks, Russians, etc., were sympathetic towards the Serbs during the Kosovo war while we were against them---it was not just a group of brainwashed Serbians who supported him. The Russians opposed our military actions (China supporting them), and in fact during that war we had brief political conflicts with them. If you remember Russian mlitary ships were moving into the area, and Wesley Clark was proposing bombing them. (Wesley Clark, btw, was proposing using nuclear weapons in that war, to show you how absurd he was).

    People also forget many in western European countries were also against the war, staging huge protests (Clinton was compared to Hitler just like now Bush is), and the American public was against the war (the Congress actually passed a resolution against the war, making it blatantly illegal even under the War Powers Act)

    Many of our tactics during the war were also questionable, like bombing civilian areas in Belgrade and targeting Milosevic for assasination, which I'm mentioning just to underscore a lot of the dishonesty that went on--but I don't want to get into that because this post is about Milosevic. If anyone has citations to condemn him please tell me.

    My main point of this post is not to exonerate Milosevic from any wrong doing at all, but that to say "Milosevic was a genocidal dictator who caused all of the Balkan conflict", which many people seem to state so simply, doesn't really have any depth of understanding to what was happening.

    My guess is that those Serbians who weep for Milosevic understand at least that and believe their country, as represented by Milosevic by popular support, was maligned. The Serbs who support him may be unaware or unacknowledging of any accusations of corruption or abuse of power or vicious military tactics because of their strong feelings about that.

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